Lower Back Pain Explained in Detail for All Rookies

The back is one of the most important parts of the body. It's home to the central nervous system and the spine; two things control the functioning and coordination of the whole body. To add on that, the back also provides strength and support to other body parts. The lower back area refers a section of the back that starts below the ribcage and extends downwards to the waist. 

The muscles of the lower back (also called lumbar region) are responsible for supporting the body when you engage in physical activities. It puts the lumbar region at a high risk of injury and pain. This discussion will outline some of the things you must know regarding lower back pain.

How it Happens

Lower back pain often manifests itself in a number of ways. The most common signs are a severe stabbing sensation in the lumbar region or a mild muscle ache. The pain may be persistent or intermittent and occurring at intervals. Additionally, you will also have difficulty standing or walking upright as the lower back area compels you into an awkward stoop. 

Seeking Medical Help

The lower back often heals naturally as the muscles relax and return to their normal state. However, this is not always the case, and some situations require you to seek medical attention. Any mild lower back pain that does not subside after a few days and lasts more than one month is a red light for you. You need to see a chiropractor for diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, the following instances also call for urgent medical attention:

  • Severe lower back pain following an injury or fall. 
  • Inability to control your bladder or bowel while experiencing pain in the lower back. 
  • Persistent lower back pain that causes numbness in your groin and weakness in your legs. 
  • Pain sensation when coughing or urinating. 
  • Lower back pain coupled with a history of cancer or the use of intravenous drugs. 

Back Pain and Sciatica

It is important to differentiate between lower back pain and sciatica. As mentioned earlier, the lower back plays an important role when exercising and lifting heavy stuff. Back pain results when you strain the muscles in the lumbar region. However, the pain may also result from rupturing a disc in the lower back — the ruptured disc bulges and presses against the sciatic nerve, leading to a condition called sciatica. Apart from lower back pain, you will experience a sharp pain running from one of your buttocks towards the leg. Sciatica requires urgent medical attention.